Today I spent the afternoon at Catalyst Dallas. For those of you who don’t know, Catalyst is a leadership conference that is held at several locations annually. Today was the ‘pre-conference’ labs…basically smaller sessions intended to allow you to hear from different high profile church leaders and then have some Q&A time with them. It was a good day.
Five different speakers. Five different topics. One clear message. Doesn’t make sense? It does to me.
I love when God uses gifted people to speak into your heart something that is meant for you at this particular moment.
I found myself shedding tears as I sat through sessions today. Not because the speaker was sharing something sad or moving, but (I think) because God’s Spirit was moving in me.
I don’t have all of my thoughts gathered just yet, but right now the one clear message that I refer to above is this: We (the church) need to matter within our community. How a church does that can vary based on the community, but we should be impacting the community around us for God. We have to be about seeking out the broken, the hurting, the failures, and our enemies in the community and serving them. As we do this relationships develop and in turn a connected community is formed. As this community forms and grows, opportunities to serve in our community present themselves and we begin to impact the community in the name of God.
Bottom line…we have to start by serving others and showing them God’s grace. Mike Foster, one of the speakers I heard today, talked about how grace needs to be in constant motion. In other words, as we receive grace from God it should flow out of us to others. If we hold onto it for ourselves it stagnates and spiritually we become putrid and toxic. No one wants to be around something that is either of these things. Grace is not meant to be hoarded – we must give it to others.
It is a small step, but I need to start dispensing grace in small ways everyday. I think that as I do this I will learn to dispense grace in bigger ways in my community. If we all do this then we (as a church) begin to have an impact.
We need to matter to our community.